tv BBC World News WHUT February 3, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
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>> on the 10th day of the tips political upheaval, president mubarak says he would like to step down now, but there's chaos if he does. there has been heavy gunfire in the center of cairo as the army tries to stop a clash of pro and anti government demonstrators. egypt's new vice president says he is offering talks with the banned islamic movement, the muslim brotherhood. >> i have contacted them. i have invited them. they are hesitant to enter a dialogue. but i believe it is in their interest. >> a warm welcome to bbc world news, broadcast on pbs in america. coming up later, tens of thousands of yemenis take to the
streets, demanding an end to their presidents 30-year rule. implications of the rainforest to the global climate. hello to you. in his first interview since the egyptian protests began 10 days ago, house the mubarak has said he would like to give up power now, but he fears chaos and a takeover by the muslim brotherhood if he does. speaking to abc news, he repeatedly has no intention of stepping aside until september and wants to die on egyptian soil. tens of thousands of people who want him to go now are still in central cairo. it is now after midnight. they are preparing a massive demonstration tomorrow. they are calling friday the day of departure. this has been a day of running
battles. there are fears of more attacks by the president's supporters. >> it has been a day of barricades, blood, and stones. the protestors in tahrir square have organized themselves, making shield out of scrap metal and collecting ammunition to flying at the president path supporters. she is saying, "mubarak must go. look at what he is doing to us. but he does not leave." it has been a week and a half of protest and a day and night of violent exhaustion. but for all this, -- before all this, this man was building a business. >> mubarak tells the people we
are to send our boys -- our voice. >> rami just arrived from his job in london. >> if mubarak is an egyptian, at some point he will realize we all want democracy. so, the people have said the words. >> the battle of the square and the stones intensified in the afternoon. they broke out and rushed the supporters of the president, and driving them back. some panicked, retreating back across the nile. others who were not destined up were grabbed and dragged back into tahrir square. the protesters believe they are being interested by government spies. anyone suspicious gets arrested.
"just tell me," -- "just kill me," this one said, trying to get his identity papers. egyptians are learning how to hate each other. from time to time, the army tried warning shots to separate the two sides. but the military presence here feels like a token while the generals make their decisions. >> the have been putting up a hard fight. but the military is still the power in this land. it will decide which we egypt goes. it could be democracy, especially if these people can get millions more on to the streets and keep them there. or the generals might want to preserve the system which has served them very well. but the people's will is tearing into the old questions of power.
it continues to gather strength come here and across the area. arab leaders were confident about the ability to repress and control their people. not anymore. >> we are trying to get our freedom. i have kids in school. i am coming from a distant background. i am not asking for food. i am asking to be treated as a human being. >> in the early evening, more dead and wounded in tahrir square. no one has a good way to stop this getting more violent. bbc news, cairo. >> morning on the comments from the egyptian president, his first interview since the crisis started. we are joined by christine amanpour. the interview is off camera and off mic, but she has been
giving us more details. >> i have just come from the presidential palace in cairo, where i met for 30 minutes with president mubarak. it is the first time we have seen him since this protest erupted more than nine days ago. we spoke, but not on camera. we spoke about 30 minutes. i asked him a range of questions. i asked him whether he would step down. he said he would when his term was up, but that if he did so now, even though he said he would like to resign today, there would be chaos and the muslim brotherhood would take over. that is egypt banned islamic party. when i asked about leaving office, he said, "i am fed after 62 years. i have had enough. i want to go." when i asked about the violence against the protesters in liberation square, he said, "i was very unhappy about yesterday. i do not want to see egyptians fighting each other."
he denied that his regime were supporters were responsible for it. he told me that president obama had not asked for him to go immediately. he said that he thought president obama was a very good man. but he said, "i told obama, you do not understand egyptian culture and what would happen if i step down right now." again he said, "if i resign today, there will be chaos and the muslim brotherhood will take over." he remains at the presidential palace with his family. there have been widespread rumors that they had fled, perhaps to london or dubai. but we saw them there. president mubarak told me, "i would never run away from this country. i will die on the soil." and he defended his legacy, recounting the many years he spent serving the country. >> president mubarak has made a
number of concessions since the uprising took hold, many of which might have been amazing in the old egypt. our world affairs editor considers what options now remain open to him. >> 40 years at the top of egyptian politics, 30 of them as president. mubarak has been america's top asset in the middle east. he has been willing to coexist with israel. he has dealt firmly with islamic fundamentalism in egypt. but now it all seems to be ending like this. his party headquarters trashed and burned. the main square of his capital occupied by people demanding that he go. what can he do next? up until now, he has offered compromise after compromise. he has promoted his closest ally to vice president, to help ease his own way out of power.
general suleyman is the one who appears on television and make the announcements. demonstrators still insist the president must go. what can mr. mubarak do now? a senior member of his ruling party says the president will offer a new compromise in the next few days. >> i think people will understand it is not a tactic to just make them go home. it is a mind-set change to achieve the results of their protest. >> a referendum on a new constitution could take place within 2.5 months? >> within 90 days. >> the credits in the square are not chanting, "mubarak out in 90 days." they want him out right now. incidents of serious brutality like this one, where a security van from the ruling party rammed
its way to a group of demonstrators, have made people more determined than ever to get rid of him. does the president have any other options? there is the army, the bedrock of the regime. will the troops moved in to clear the square at this late stage? they had their chance when the gangs started moving in yesterday. the soldiers sided with the demonstrators instead. the big danger is, of course, that if president mubarak goes away he will leave a huge power vacuum behind him. he has always been careful not to allow any other rival political parties to establish themselves here. what worries western countries is this. free and democratic elections might allow the islamist muslim brotherhood to take power here. it would be a possibility that they would turn egypt into some kind of iran. >> the muslim brotherhood are not thinking about establishing
an islamic state unless the majority of the people are behind it. it will be another source of islamic dictatorship. >> those are questions for the future. the troubles in the streets have turned the city into an angry, frightened, violent place with no real law and order. it is hard to think that things will be better tomorrow. john simpson, bbc news, cairo. >> he saw him there in john's report on state television, the vice-president sueliman. he has promised mubarak's sun will not be a candidate in elections in september. before the protest, that was widely expected. he also confirmed he has been speaking dialogue with the muslim brotherhood. >> i have contacted them. i have invited them. the have been hesitant to enter
into dialogue. but i believe it is in their interest to enter into dialogue. they are hesitant. i would like to stress the word "hesitant." if they miss this opportunity, i think this is a crucial opportunity for them. what is the atmosphere that rains in the dialogue? everybody present -- there is no contradiction and there is agreement among everybody about what president mubarak offered in terms of a constitutional and judicial reform, a bite of corruption, and a way out of this crisis. they all agree about his vision. they presented ideas of how to implement this.
some have asked for -- enduring dialogue, they are convinced that time is not with us. hopefully, we will carry other with other political parties to reach agreement to set up conditions to start work. we do not have enough time in our hands. >> you heard the voice of our translator. state if you can. still to come, queensland survives one of the most powerful storms ever to hit australia. no deaths reported. it destroyed thousands of homes. before that, in the past 24 hours, egyptian authorities partially reopened access to the internet. it was shut the past five days. demonstrators were using social networking sites to coordinate demonstrations. now those in the streets are making their way onto the net. our correspondent has a report.
>> supporters of mubarak have now started to use the internet to send their own videos. shot on mobile phones of demonstrations in support of the embattled president. they are hitting back at pro- reform demonstrators who dominated social media. they are also posting videos attacking opposition figures like mohammad elbaradei. >> before the demonstrations on friday, most of them were in support of cosmic mubarak. when we come back, we start to get an abnormal amount of comments supporting mubarak. >> text messages were sent out by vodaphone support to the government line. the company said there were forced to send them out under emergency legislation. there were protests to the authorities, but the current
situation regarding the messages is unacceptable. we have made clear that all messages should be transparent and clearly attributable to the originator. social media sets on the internet, like facebook and twitter, have been used by thousands of people to overcome attempts to control and obstruct the flow of information in egypt and tunisia, were parked unrest forced the departure of president ben ali. they have helped spread the contagion of unrest, which have led to deaths on the streets. they are in a phenomenon which authoritarian governments have found are beyond their control. the latest headlines for you on bbc world news. on the 10th day of political upheaval in egypt, president mubarak has said he would like to step down now but fears chaos if he does. some heavy gunfire at the center of cairo as the army's tries to
stop the demonstrators violence. even some who have lived there for years and now feel the country is getting too dangerous. or middle east correspondent join some of those heading for the airport in cairo. >> passport control this morning was on the marble floor of a five-star hotel in central cairo. nothing is normal here anymore. that is why these people decided to try to get out. on the bus, they travel behind closed curtains. there is a tense moment. we pass within a few hundred meters of tahrir square. some foreign residents are now a target. as we head out, there is the question of why he is leaving. >> i do not know what happened.
people went crazy. you cannot expect what would happen tomorrow. people want things to be better. people stop you every hundred yards, checking you. >> next to him is a british engineer who has lived in egypt for four years. >> the bar over the road was set on fire on friday. the wall was set on fire. we have no army. the hotel staff left the hotel with weapons. the locals are protecting their own property. >> at the airport, we meet up with other buses that have bought -- brought britons. a thousand i thought to have left egypt in the last two days. these are people who've lived and worked in egypt for years. there are british egyptians who
own homes and businesses here. after the violence of the last 48 hours, they have decided they have no choice. the united states ordered all its remaining citizens to get to cairo airport as soon as possible. there is not a general exodus of foreigners from egypt. no one is sure when any of these people will be back. for egypt and its economy, this is a disaster. bbc news in cairo. >> the protest movement in tunisia, jordan, and egypt has also reached yemen. tens of thousands are protesting in the capital. they want an end to the rule of the president. he has been in power more than three decades. >> it is yemen's day of anger. these are president of do up supporters. they came here in his favor.
but they are calling for change. they say yes to the fighter of the corruption, no to immobility. >> we are calling on them to see what has happened in countries like egypt and tunisia. we call on them to be one with the yemeni people. >> the real rally is taking place here, near the university. thousands of protesters took to the streets, calling for immediate change. they want immediate and radical reform. quickly he promises. it is too late. we have been patient up until now. we have even been patient with hunger. but the authorities do not hear us. >> the square westphal, but only a few people are left.
there are calling for immediate change. yemen has a majority of youth, at least for the moment. >> let us look further afield. twice in five years, the world's biggest rainforest, the amazon, has been hit by severe drought. this may have implications for the global climate. the rain forest usually soaks up carbon dioxide. withdraw its last year and in 2005, trees died in billions. the released greenhouse gases instead. >> this is how most of us picture the amazon, but very occasionally, the unthinkable happens and the rain forest gets no rain. in 2005, the rivers dried up. but the waterways were closed. fish died in huge numbers.
a drought this severe was meant to strike once a century, but another hit last year. river levels fell again. is this becoming a pattern? red areas show where the rain failed in 2005, compared with a much larger area affected last year. this brazilian researcher witnessed the last drought. the drier the forest gets, the last carbon -- the less carbon it holds. >> we see that we are losing our ability to absorb the carbon from the atmosphere. >> new research in "science" discusses the implications. in the typical year, the fourth absorbs 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide. in 2005, dying trees released 5 billion tons, and last year, 8
billion tons. america admitted 5.4 billion tons burning fossil fuels in 2009. the amazon really matters. >> one possibility is this is a natural climactic variation. in the future, we might not see more of these drugs. the alternative is that it is associated with high greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, related to climate change. if that is the case, we will see these droughts increase in intensity and frequency in the future. >> this amazon farmer dug himself a well in the rain forest. if things change year, it could be very threatening. >> the northern australian state of queensland was hit by a major cyclone. yasi had winds of nearly 300 kilometers an hour. it was not as bad as many had predicted. the city was spared the full
force of the cyclone. from sydney, this story. >> daylight exposed the ferocity of cyclone yasi, the category 5 storm that pummeled the northern queensland with winds of 180 miles an hour. the town of tully was directly in its path. ruth's or ripped off. 200 homes were destroyed or badly damaged. search and rescue teams had to sell their way into -- saw their way into communities of residents who had felt the strong funder around them. >> it was terrible. i have never seen anything like it. i was in the other storm, and it was nothing compared to this one. >> it was the scariest moment of my life. >> this was one of the most
ferocious cyclones in australia's history. although the damage was severe, it was nowhere near as bad as state officials had predicted or feared. the cities of caerns and tansville were mostly spare. >> we still have no reports of casualties, serious injuries, or fatalities. >> inside a crowded evacuation center of the storm boiled over head, this japanese woman give birth to a baby girl after a three hour labor. by happy coincidence, a british midwife was on hand to help with the delivery. she had traveled to queensland to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary. >> welcome to australia. >> thank you very much. >> we have a cyclone and a baby girl all in one trip. >> it could have been so much worse. australia feared a hurricane katrina in disaster. but somehow it survive cyclone
yasi without any loss of life. >> finally, we thought you would need good news. the longest running trade dispute has come to an end after european parliament approved a deal to cut import tariffs on latin american bananas. the banana war began in the early 1990's, when american producers said the eu was breaking trade rules by importing bananas duty-free by africa while charging the tariffs on their food. the eu said it was trying to protect small producers in former colonies. just briefly, the main news for you. tens of thousands of people want president mubarak to go. they are in central cairo still, after midnight, preparing what they say will be a massive demonstration tomorrow. they are calling it the day of departure. the president has told abc news he wants to go but fears what would happen if he does.
the banned islamic movement has been invited to take part in talks on the part -- talks on the country's future. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around thego to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations.